A Remote Automotive Showcase



One of the latest trade show casualties of COVID-19 was November’s Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo (rebranded as The Battery Show & EV Tech Digital Days).

So instead of making the pilgrimage to the Motor City, we followed the lead of weddings, graduations, parties, and funerals over the last 5-6 months and streamed it. I’d be lying if I said the whole setup wasn’t more than a little depressing.

Sign of the times, I guess.

But even the coronavirus can’t dampen the coolest emerging battery and automotive applications – check out the back of the book for the lowdown on Ford’s electric Mustang, the Mach-E, and next month, I’ll discuss fast charging lithium-ion batteries using a proprietary system of “Integrated Battery Thermal Management.”

Meanwhile, the (digital) show must go on, and this month deals with a very expansive (and critical) topic, “Automotive + Vehicles - Autonomous, Land, Air, Sea.”

The first article I’d like to highlight focuses on one of the most critical areas of the hottest corner of the automotive space – charging electric vehicles.

We’ve mentioned before how a reliable charging network – and fast chargers – is a vital step towards solving our collective “range anxiety.” While the average commute might be far less than the electric range of most EVs, if we can’t top off our EVs with the ease (or close to it) of pulling into a gas station, the fears will remain.

As Mark Patrick, from Mouser Electronics, mentions, “The availability of a widespread EV charging infrastructure will further contribute to consumer confidence and reduce the range anxiety concerns experienced by many potential EV purchasers.”

And almost from the beginning, wireless power has been in the mix as a potential solution to our recharging woes.

Several of the proposed answers – like placing charging infrastructure in roadways or using coils or plates – are impractical or not sufficient on their own.

Mark suggests using magnetic resonance to transfer energy between two resonant coils using the magnetic field. “The magnetically-coupled resonant (MCR) technique requires both the sending and receiving coils to operate at the same resonant frequency, achieving higher efficiency of energy transfer,” Mark says, and efficiency is key with wireless charging, which traditionally has lagged behind the wired variety.

The other article I’d like to showcase deals with wide-bandgap semiconductors (specifically, GaN) in the automotive space. Alex Lidow Ph.D., Robert Strittmatter Ph.D., Shengke Zhang Ph.D., and Alejandro Pozo, Ph.D., over at Efficient Power Conversion covers that with “GaN Reliability Testing Beyond AEC Proves Robustness for Automotive Lidar Applications.”

The trio of authors propose a method of testing, whereby the idea is to stress parts in an actual lidar circuit for a total number of pulses well beyond their ultimate mission profile.

“By testing a population of devices well beyond the end of their full mission profile while verifying the stability of the system performance and the device characteristics, this test method directly demonstrates the lifetime of eGaN devices in a lidar mission,” they mention.

Enjoy the December issue!

Best Regards,

Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD